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Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies

This page is maintained by licensed agents John Holloway and Jonathan Fritz. We created NoExam.com in 2013 and have since helped over 6,000 families get life insurance.

Choosing the best life insurance company is hard.

Finding the best life insurance for your situation is important, but with hundreds of companies and policies to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin.

How We Rank The Best Life Insurance Companies

To rank the best life insurance companies, we use a combination of data from financial ratings, financial statements, consumer reviews, consumer complaints, product offering, and pricing.

We've spent hundreds of hours researching as well as countless hours on the phone helping people choose a life insurance company. With all of this experience, it begs the question...

Who is the Best Life Insurance Company?

Haven Life

Best overall life insurance company
am best AM Best: A++
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: AA+
moodys Moody’s: Aa2
fitch Fitch Ratings: AA+

Mass Mutual, who owns Haven Life, is one of the most reputable life insurance providers in business today. They have been around for 160 years, and are one of the envied few that hold a "Superior" financial rating from AM Best. This rating is only for companies with the strongest finances.

Mass Mutual introduced Haven Life in 2013 to meet the needs of modern consumers. Haven Life insurance leverages modern technology to bring consumers competitive pricing. Their technology combined with Mass Mutual's financial strength create a superior buying experience.

There is no need to invite an agent into your home. Haven Life allows customers to buy life insurance online. If you are in good health you are even able to skip the medical exam.

Pros
  • Competitive Prices
  • Online Application
  • Fast Decision
  • Strong Financial Ratings
  • Can Bypass Exam if In Good Health
Cons
  • Only Offers Term Products
Check Price

Haven Life is our top pick for the best life insurance company. They are backed by Mass Mutual who has been in business for 160 years and has nearly $675 billion in assets. They hold a "Superior" rating from AM Best, which is the highest. Haven Life has created a term life insurance product that is affordable, reliable, and easy to undertand. This earns them the #1 spot on our best life insurance companies list. Haven Life has the best life insurance policy for people who want a financially strong company, competitive price, and convenient application process.

10 Best Life Insurance Companies In The United States

Based on our research consisting of over 100+ hours, 50+ companies considered, 100+ consumers surveyed, and 30+ data points, here is our top 10 list for the best life insurance companies in the United States. These rankings are based on financial strength, customer reviews, pricing, product offering, customer service, and customer experience. Here is the complete list:

  1. Haven Life
  2. AIG
  3. Prudential
  4. Banner Life
  5. Mutual of Omaha
  6. Transamerica
  7. Metlife
  8. Lincoln Financial
  9. New York Life
  10. State Farm

Haven Life

Best overall life insurance company
am best AM Best: A++
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: AA+
moodys Moody’s: Aa2
fitch Fitch Ratings: AA+

Mass Mutual, who owns Haven Life, is one of the most reputable life insurance providers in business today. They have been around for 160 years, and are one of the envied few that hold a "Superior" financial rating from AM Best. This rating is only for companies with the strongest finances.

Mass Mutual introduced Haven Life in 2013 to meet the needs of modern consumers. Haven Life insurance leverages modern technology to bring consumers competitive pricing. Their technology combined with Mass Mutual's financial strength create a superior buying experience.

There is no need to invite an agent into your home. Haven Life allows customers to buy life insurance online. If you are in good health you are even able to skip the medical exam.

Pros
  • Competitive Prices
  • Online Application
  • Fast Decision
  • Strong Financial Ratings
  • Can Bypass Exam if In Good Health
Cons
  • Only Offers Term Products
Check Price

AIG

Best term life insurance company
am best AM Best: A
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: A+
moodys Moody’s: A2
fitch Fitch Ratings: A+

Operating since 1919, AIG life insurance is one of the largest life insurance companies today. Located in New York City, AIG is available in as many as 80 countries. The company offers a wide arrange of products from term to final expense. Like the other companies on this list, AIG's financial strength and competitive pricing earn them the second spot.

Pros
  • Great Financials
  • Online Application
  • Wide Selection of Products
  • Global Presence
Cons
  • None
Check Price

Prudential

Best value life insurance company
am best AM Best: A+
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: AA-
moodys Moody’s: A1
fitch Fitch Ratings: A+

Established in 1875, Prudential is another one of the top-rated insurers in the US. They have over $4 trillion of active life insurance in force. Prudential is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol PRU. They offer not only life insurance but also offer critical illness, accident, and disability insurance.

Prudential operates in many financial markets in the US and continues to maintain a high financial standing. They are one of the largest life insurance companies with over 50,000 employees in 40 countries. These numbers all contribute to Prudential being one of the best choices for life insurance.

Pros
  • Lenient Underwriting
  • Good for Seniors
  • Competitive Tobacco Rates
Cons
  • No Whole Life
  • Likely Requires an Exam
Check Price

Mutual of Omaha

Best for product variety
am best AM Best: A+
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: A-
moodys Moody’s: A1
fitch Fitch Ratings: N/A

Mutual of Omaha is a fortune 500 company based in Omaha, Nebraska. They began selling insurance in 1909, making them over 100 years old. Mutual of Omaha offers a wide array of life insurance products. They offer term, whole, universal, and long term care products. They even produced a popular television show in 1963 called Wild Kingdom.

Rest assured, Mutual of Omaha is financially stable and offers some of the most competitive pricing available.

Pros
  • Best Product Selection
  • Strong Financial Ratings
  • A Mutual Company
Cons
  • No Online Application
Check Price

TransAmerica

Best for older applicants
am best AM Best: A+
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: A-
moodys Moody’s: A1
fitch Fitch Ratings: A+

Founded in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1919, Transamerica specializes in insurance and investing. Known for their wide array of life insurance and retirement products, Transamerica is a household name.

Transamerica holds an A+ "Superior" rating from A.M. Best. This is the 2nd highest rating possible. Transamerica is financially sound and receives minimal complaints. Their product offering allows consumers to find a competitive rate on a policy that meets their needs.

Pros
  • Great for Seniors
  • Wide Product Selection
  • Good Financial Ratings
Cons
  • Requires Exam
Check Price

Metlife

Best for reliability
am best AM Best: A+
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: AA-
moodys Moody’s: Aa3
fitch Fitch Ratings: AA-

Founded in 1868, Metlife is one of the oldest and largest insurance companies in the world. They offer individual life insurance through their subsidiary Brighthouse Financial. Metlife is known for their group life policies and workplace benefits.

Pros
  • Good Product Selection
  • Competitive Rates
  • Ranked 2nd in Assets
Cons
  • Some Policies Require Exam
Check Price

Lincoln Financial

Best for product selection
am best AM Best: A+
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: A-
moodys Moody’s: A1
fitch Fitch Ratings: A+

Lincoln Financial was founded in 1905 and is based in Pennsylvania. They offer a great selection of products including variable universal life, and they are known for having somewhat lenient underwriting. Lincoln Financial has superb financial ratings. In our recent pricing study, Lincoln was one of the lowest priced companies.

Pros
  • Strong Financial Ratings
  • Large Product Offering
  • Low Prices on Term Insurance
Cons
  • No direct application.
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New York Life

Best customer service
am best AM Best: A++
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: AA+
moodys Moody’s: Aaa
fitch Fitch Ratings: AAA

New York Life was established in 1845 and is currently the third largest insurance provider in the country. It's strong ratings and products make New York Life a top life insurance company.

Pros
  • High Customer Satisfaction
  • High Financial Ratings
Cons
  • Sold by Captive Agents Only
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State Farm

Best captive company
am best AM Best: A++
standard & poor Standard & Poor’s: AA+
moodys Moody’s: Aaa
fitch Fitch Ratings: AAA

State Farm was founded in 1929 and is known for being very financially stable. They offer term and whole life policies (including survivorship), and they are known for their great customer service.

Pros
  • Good Product Offering
  • Strong Financial Ratings
  • Good Customer Service
Cons
  • Sold by Captive Agents Only
  • Strict Underwriting
  • High Rates
Check Price

Compare Life Insurance Companies

Compare Life Insurance Companies
Make the most informed decision possible with our side by side comparisons.
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How much does life insurance cost?

The price of life insurance varies greatly from person to person. A 20 year term policy with a $100,000 death benefit will cost a 30 year old male in good health around $12 per month. The same policy will cost a 60 year old man around $65 per month. The rate calculator tool below allows you to quickly see custom quotes with accurate pricing.

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Which is better term or whole life insurance?

For the majority of people, term life insurance is the best type of life insurance to buy. It's much more affordable than whole life insurance. Whole life insurance policies build cash value, but from an investment standpoint most experts recommend you buy a term policy and invest the money saved elsewhere. If you've talked to a life insurance agent already, they may have already explained the difference between permanent life insurance and term.

Best Term Life Insurance Company

Haven Life Insurancehaven life logo

Haven earns the top spot for best term life insurance company. As we mentioned above, they are wholly owned by Mass Mutual. Mass Mutual has exceptional financial strength. Financial strength, price, and the ability to purchase online make it our #1 company for term life insurance. They offer up to $3 million of life insurance coverage for those under 60. Those age 60-64 are eligible to apply for up to $1 million in coverage; subject to underwriting approval.

Term insurance provides coverage for a set period of time. 10, 15, 20 and 30 are the most common year terms for a term life policy. Learn more about term life insurance.

Best Whole Life Insurance Company

Northwestern Mutualnorthwestern mutual logo

Established In: 1857

A.M. Best: A++

Moody’s: Aaa

Standard & Poor’s: AA+

Fitch: AAA

In our research of companies offering whole life insurance, one company stood out. Northwestern Mutual is known for its industry leading financial strength. They offer a wide range of products, but they tend to lean more towards whole life insurance. They are not known to be the cheapest offer. See our best whole life insurance companies for more. Learn more about whole life insurance, which may be a good choice if you require the tax free cash value component and permanent coverage of a whole or universal life insurance policy.

What are the best life insurance policies?

In terms of best value, the following term life policies are the best

  • Haven Life Term - Best overall term policy
  • AIG - Quality of Life... Insurance - Best if you need living benefits.
  • Lincoln - TermAccel - Best for quick coverage.

How do I choose a life insurance company?

  1. Determine if term or whole life is right for your situation.
  2. Review top rated life insurance companies and select several with high financial ratings.
  3. Use the tool on this page to view quotes and compare prices from the companies you are comparing.
  4. Once you are ok with pricing, compare companies side by side with our company comparison tool.
  5. Rank your top three choices and begin the application process with each.

To pick the best life insurance company you will need to consider the financial ratings and track record of those companies. This will help you find the most financially stable option. The second part of picking a company is making sure the policies they offer are a good fit for your needs. When comparing your life insurance options, it's best to work with an independent agent that can present you with multiple options.

Financial Ratings

Financial ratings are an important factor to consider while shopping for life insurance. They are one of the key indicators of a company’s financial stability. A company’s ratings reflect its ability to meet contractual obligations.

There are several independent agencies that rate life insurance companies. The most important ones being A.M. Best, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, J.D. Power and Fitch. Each agency has its own set of rules to determine a company’s financial stability.

These ratings change depending on the company’s recent performance and financial outlook. So, you should check the latest ratings of an insurance company before deciding to buy.

best life insurance

Life Insurance Company Ratings

CompanyJ.D. PowerBBBAM BestMoody'sFitchStandard & Poor'sComdex
AIG741A+AA2A+A+81
AssurityN/AA+A-N/AN/AN/AN/A
BannerN/AA+A+N/AAA-AA-94
Mutual of Omaha792A+A+A1N/AAA-93
North AmericanN/AA+A+N/AA+A+93
ProtectiveN/AA+A+AA+AA-N/A
PrudentialN/AA+A+A1AA-AA-92
SBLIN/AA+AN/AN/AA-84
Metlife793C-A+A1AA-AA-95

Track Record

You should check the company’s track record of settling its claims. Does it have a long record of serving its customers well? Has it settled all or most of its claims without any issues? These are questions you need to ask to find out if the company is the right choice for you.

Does the company have a history of policy cancellations and claim disputes? Think twice before choosing a company like that. Even if it’s rates happen to be affordable.

There is no point in choosing a low-cost policy if the company has a history of denying claims.

Remember! Your loved ones have to file a claim with the insurance company after your death to receive the payout. The last thing they need is for the company to make them jump through hoops to receive the payout. So, choosing a company know best for it's positive track record is crucial.

You can check a company’s track record with the BBB and the NAIC. Also check with your state’s insurance department for any complaints.

The Best Life Insurance Companies That Pay Out

One of the biggest worries in buying life insurance is if the company will pay out after you are gone. The best way to ensure this happens is to choose a company with minimal complaints about denying claims. It’s important to answer the questions on the life insurance application truthfully so there can be no reason for claim denial. Always keep your contact information and policy payment method up to date to avoid any issues. All of the top life insurance companies listed on this page are likely to pay claims due to their strong financial ratings. As a shopper, you need to do your homework to find the best life insurance companies that pay out.

Range of Policies Offered

Look for an insurance company that offers a wide range of policies. Pick one that best suits your budget as well as your family’s financial needs.

Convertible Policies

Look for a company that allows you to convert a term policy into a permanent one. A term life insurance plan generally lasts anywhere from 10 to 30 years.

If you are in your 50’s or 60’s when it expires, you might need to get yourself insured again. Qualifying for a new policy at that age can be difficult. You might be charged higher life insurance rates compared to younger applicants.

With the conversion option, you can convert your existing term policy into a permanent one. No need to qualify for a new policy or undergo any medical tests. Even if you think that you might not need it, it’s a good option to have.

Riders and Additional Benefits

Look for a company that offers optional riders and benefits. A standard term policy is the cheapest option you could go for, but it may not cover all your needs.

What happens if you develop a terminal illness or a disability? This could prevent you from working and also cause significant medical expenses.

In such a scenario, a pure term policy is of little use. Your family can receive the payout only after your passing. In the mean time, you have to dig into your savings to pay for your treatment costs. This can leave your family vulnerable in the short term. An accelerated death benefit rider can be extremely beneficial to your family in such cases.

The accelerated death benefit rider gives you the option of receiving a portion of your death benefit while you are still alive. You can use the money to pay for your treatment without having to deplete your savings or borrow money.

Similarly, there are other riders available for different scenarios:

  • accidental death
  • disability
  • critical illness
  • waiver of premium
  • unemployment

Choosing one or more of these riders will increase your premium payments. However, paying a few dollars more is worth the extra protection these riders provide.

Underwriting Policies

Each insurance company has its own set of underwriting policies or guidelines. Some companies have strict guidelines. You are likely to qualify for the cheapest rates only if you are young and in excellent health.

If you have any health risk factors you are likely to qualify for the more expensive rates. Risk factors include:

  • being overweight
  • family history of heart disease, cancer and other health conditions
  • high-risk occupation extreme sports and hobbies
  • smoking

Other companies can be more lenient with their underwriting guidelines.

Even if you do not qualify for the cheap rates with one company, you might be able to do so with another company. By doing so, you might be able to save hundreds of dollars in life insurance premiums every year.

This is why it is important to get quotes from multiple companies while buying life insurance. Not all companies have the same kind of guidelines or medical test requirements. So, you should choose one where you are most likely to qualify for the best possible rates.

Who has the best life insurance rates?

The answer to this depends on your overall health. It is difficult to say who has the best rates when it varies so much. One company might have better rates for older customers, where another may be the best choice for someone with asthma. It depends. Your best bet is to shop multiple companies and compare the rates. We have published sample life insurance rates here.

What does life insurance cost monthly?

For a term life insurance policy from one of the best companies you can expect to pay between $20 per month and $75 per month. This will depend on your age, coverage amount, term length, and overall health. See more on the cost of life insurance.

Who has the best life insurance?

The companies with the highest financial ratings will have the best life insurance offerings. Consider the type of life insurance they offer, the riders available, their financial strength, and the customer service rating. Any of the companies on this top 10 list are a great choice.

What type of life insurance is best?

When reviewing the types of life insurance available, the experts we surveyed agree that most people should buy a term life insurance policy. The investment component of a permanent life insurance policy often does not have as good of a return as other investments. It is our recommendation that you buy a term policy and invest the money saved. Learn more about the difference between term and whole life insurance here.

Traditional Insurance Companies vs. Mutual Insurance Companies

If you are looking to buy a permanent life policy, it is advisable to buy it from a mutual insurance company, rather than a traditional insurance company.

The difference between a traditional life insurance company and a mutual life insurance company is that the former is owned by stockholders whereas the latter is owned by the policyholders themselves.

This is why mutual insurance companies tend to distribute their surplus revenue evenly among their policyholders in the form of dividends.

If your insurance provider pays dividends every year, it could be an additional source of income for you throughout the term of the policy. This is above and beyond what you receive in terms of the cash component and the death benefit.

While this certainly should not be a make-or-break factor in deciding which company you should do business with, it can be an additional criterion based on which you can compare different insurance companies.

Why You Should Consider the Financial Rating of a Life Insurance Company

Among the factors mentioned above, financial rating stands out from the rest. It is the very factor that determines the validity of your contract with an insurance company. Think of it this way – life insurance is meant to be a financial safety net for your family. The net, however, is only as strong as the insurance company’s ability to honor its claims.

The Importance of Financial Stability

Insurance companies increase their profits by investing a portion of the money they receive from the policyholders in the market.

The market, by its very nature, is unpredictable and could go up or down depending on various factors. When it does go down, a company could suffer losses, albeit only in the short term.

During such times, unless the company is financially stable and has sufficient statutory reserves, it might struggle to continue its operations, settle claims, and pay for surrendered policies. This is why the financial rating of a company matters a lot.

Similarly, if there is a catastrophic event or there is a sudden drop in the market, people might panic and want to surrender their policies or withdraw money from their policies.

Such a sudden spike in surrender and withdrawal requests can only be handled by companies that have significant financial resources at their disposal.

Financial Rating by Independent Agencies

Independent agencies like AM Best, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, J.D. Power and Fitch rate insurance companies according to their financial stability.

These agencies analyze a company’s financial data. Data like:

  • The amount collected in premiums
  • The amount paid out in claims
  • Statutory reserves and assets
  • Cash flow
  • Return on investments,
  • Potential risks in the short term and the long term

If a life insurance company is rated highly by these agencies on a consistent basis, it is a very good sign of its ability to honor its commitments. If a company receives subpar ratings from these agencies, you should be wary of choosing it.

Let us now take a look at 10 life insurance companies you should probably avoid.

What are the worst life insurance companies?

The majority of insurance providers in the US are financially stable and committed to serving their customers. However, there are some companies that are notorious for denying and delaying claims and are rated poorly by customers and rating agencies alike.

Based on their track record, it is not advisable for you to trust them with your hard-earned money. Let us take a look at them now.

Colonial Penn

It was founded in 1968 and is based in Pennsylvania.

A.M. Best: A–

Moody’s: Baa1

Standard & Poor’s: BBB+

Fitch: BBB+

Why You Should Avoid It: Receives a large number of complaints from customers regularly and is known for delaying claims.

EquiTrust

It was founded in 1966 and is based in Iowa.

A.M. Best: B++

Standard & Poor’s: BBB+

Why You Should Avoid It: Has a subpar financial rating and offers policies that might only meet the needs of a small, niche group of customers.

Bankers Life

It was founded in 1879 and is based in Illinois.

A.M. Best: A–

Moody’s: Baa1

Standard & Poor’s: BBB+

Fitch: BBB+

Why You Should Avoid It: Not as financially stable as other, highly rated life insurance companies.

Baltimore Life

It was founded in 1882 and is based in Maryland.

A.M. Best: B++

Why You Should Avoid It: Subpar financial rating despite being in business for more than a century.

Allstate

It was founded in 1931 and is based in Illinois.

A.M. Best: A+

Moody’s: A1

Standard & Poor’s: A+

Why You Should Avoid It: While it is financially stable, the company is known to delay and deny claims at times. The premiums are also higher than average and the underwriting policies are strict, which means you are less likely to qualify for preferred rates if you have any preexisting condition or risk factor.

Choose the Right Life Insurance Company

Life insurance is an important long term financial decision. There are a number of factors to consider.

If you choose to buy insurance from an unreliable company your family could end up paying the price. You need to carefully consider the factors mentioned above. Choose an insurance provider who is reliable, financially stable, and whose policies meet your needs.

How NoExam.com Can Help You

If you are in need of life insurance, but not sure what kind of policy is right for you or which company you should buy it from, we at noexam.com can help you.

We have all the information you need to understand the pros and cons of choosing different kinds of policies as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various insurance providers. We can help you find the right kind of policy and a reliable insurance provider for you to do business with.

List of Life Insurance Companies

Here is a listing of companies we considered in this study.

  • 5 Star
  • AAA
  • AARP
  • American Amicable
  • American Continental
  • AIG
  • American Memorial
  • American National
  • Americo
  • Assurity
  • Bestow
  • Banner
  • Colombian Life
  • Colonial Penn
  • Ethos
  • Family Life
  • Farmers
  • Fidelity Life
  • Foresters
  • Genworth
  • Gerber
  • Globe Life Insurance
  • Great Western
  • Guardian
  • Haven Life
  • John Hancock
  • Kemper
  • Ladder
  • Liberty Bankers Life
  • Lincoln National
  • Madison National
  • Mass Mutual
  • Metlife
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • National Life Group
  • National Western
  • Nationwide
  • New York Life
  • North American
  • Pacific Life
  • Phoenix
  • Primerica
  • Protective
  • Prudential
  • Royal Neighbors
  • Sagicor
  • SBLI
  • State Farm
  • Transamerica
  • United Home Life
  • USAA
  • Vantis
  • Voya
  • William Penn
  • Last Updated: August 6th, 2019

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    Jonathan Holloway
    August 6, 2019
    Jonathan is a licensed life insurance agent at NoExam.com that writes about insurance, personal finance, lifestyle, and sports. See our pages on term life insurance, life insurance rates and life insurance companies for more.
    Disclaimer: We make every attempt to make sure our information is up to date, but since things change often it is best to double check the data. This review is an opinion. Clicking on links may result in NoExam.com being compensated.